Tent lighting help!

posted 2 years ago in DIY
Post # 2
9526 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2013

You need to really think about logistics here. How will the lights be powered? How will they be hung? How many can you string together? When will they be hung, and by whom? Will they put off enough light to read a menu or for your grandma to see her food?

We wanted to be sure we had enough light in the tent, so we rented basic uplighting from the tent company for inside the tent. Then we DIYed string lights for our area outside the tent. We had a lot of lights that we DIYed and it still would have been too dim for inside the tent during dinner. I’d bite the bullet and get the rental lights. Or figure out how to get a lot of string lights.

Post # 3
310 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2014


Christal1882:  I think you will need far more than 150 ft of perimeter lights. I am DIY’ing my tent lighting. We will be lighting a 40x40ft tent so 1600sq ft. I have collected about 15 boxes with strings of 100 christmas lights.  Plus we have many more strands that we have borrowed from friends and family.


I did find this on The Knot and used it as my basis for how many I would need. She lit a 40x60ft tents using only christmas lights. She says they used 30 strands of 150 count lights. Put three together to make 8 lengths and draped them across the tent then in the middle had a bunch to make a chandelier type thing.  She does suggest getting an electrician to look over it to see if your braker box can handle the lights. And lastly she also suggests the white wire over green. But I could only find green on sale so that is what I went with.

Post # 4
1040 posts
Bumble bee

I went with the lighting provided by the rental company, because in the end I would have spent more money on supplies + time hanging them than just getting their lights.

(I had a 40 ft X 40 ft tent)

They provided LED lights around the perimeter, and then as a part of our centerpieces, we had 2 votives per table, with LED candles in them, and then the DJ had dance lights.

It was PLENTY of light.

Post # 6
675 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2014

This actually depends on where you’re getting married.  For example,  Connecticut requires lighting to be done by pros, to help minimize fire risk.   We also aren’t allowed to make extension cords in CT either.   We have to use regular cable.   Some states are very picky.   And as mentioned above,  how are you planning on powering them?   It gets complicated.   (i do this for a living. )  are you renting a generator?  Who’s running power from the generator?   Are they providing a “lunch box”?  There’s a lot to consider. 

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